How to survive (and thrive!) in your first junior graphic designer job

Getting a junior graphic designer job is an amazing feat in itself. But once you’ve landed that dream job, it can be a whole new world of challenges. How do you make a good impression? Do great work? Be a good team player? And how do you move up the ranks?

If you’re feeling lost and overwhelmed, or you just want to make sure you’re doing everything right, don’t worry. We’ve put together a guide on how to survive (and thrive!) in your first junior graphic designer job. From what to expect, to tips on impressing your boss and being a great team player, this guide has everything you need to get started on the right foot.

So if you’re ready to take your junior designer career to the next level, read on!

  1. Finding junior graphic design jobs
  2. What to expect from your first job as a junior graphic designer
  3. How to make a good impression
  4. Do good work
  5. Be a good team player
  6. Move up the ranks
  7. Conclusion


Finding Junior Graphic Design Jobs

Before we get into the details of what to expect as a junior designer let’s have a quick look at where to find junior graphic design jobs, for anyone at the start of their journey.

There are many ways to search for these jobs, but some of the most effective are:

  • Online job boards such as our Junior Designer Job Board
  • Specific company websites
  • Design school job portals
  • Social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook
  • By registering with a design-focused recruitment agency

Once you’ve found a few promising leads, the next step is to start putting together your application. In addition to your CV and portfolio, many employers will also ask for a cover letter. This is your opportunity to introduce yourself and explain why you would be the perfect fit for the role.

In each city there will be specific companies that welcome junior designers. For example:

Junior graphic design jobs Sydney

In Sydney you could try applying to companies such as:

Junior graphic design jobs Melbourne

In Melbourne it may be worth applying at the likes of:

  • The Monkeys
  • TBWA\ Melbourne
  • J. Walter Thompson
  • Cummins&Partners
  • George Patterson Y&R

Junior graphic design jobs are actually available all over Australia, in both big cities and smaller regional areas. On top of the larger agencies like those listed above, you will also want to try the smaller niche agencies in the areas of brand design, app design, video production, newspapers, packaging design, fashion and film production.

Ok, now let’s get into it!


What to expect from your first job as a designer

No matter what field of design you’re in, there are some things that you can expect from your first job as a junior designer. For one, you’ll likely be working with a team of other designers, so it’s important to be a good team player. You’ll also be expected to do some mundane grunt work, like making revisions, doing research and preparing assets. But if you can prove your worth and do great work, you’ll be handling more advanced tasks in no time.

As a junior graphic designer, you will likely start out as a collaborator, working with more experienced designers on projects. Initial tasks might include conducting research, gathering assets, and revising designs. As you prove your worth and become more confident in your skills, you will be given more responsibility and independence on projects.


How to make a good impression

First impressions are everything, so it’s important to make a good one when you start your job. One way to do this is by being proactive and asking lots of questions. Showing that you’re interested and willing to learn will go a long way in impressing your boss and colleagues. Additionally, try to be of value to your team and pitch in where you can. Whether it’s getting coffee for everyone or staying late to help with a project, little things can make a big difference.

Doing these five things can help you stand out and get you noticed:

  1. Show up on time (or early!) every day
  2. Dress the part
  3. Ask questions
  4. Offer to help
  5. Go above and beyond


Doing great work

If you want to get ahead as a junior graphic designer, it’s important to do great work. This means putting in the extra effort, being detail-oriented, and going above and beyond what’s expected of you. It can be easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day tasks, but if you can stay focused and produce high-quality work, you’ll be sure to impress the right people.

To do great work, start by setting yourself up for success. This means getting organized, staying on top of deadlines, and being clear about expectations. Additionally, be sure to proofread your work and get feedback from others before you submit anything.

A big part of being a junior designer is learning and showing continual improvement. So, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback and take constructive criticism in stride. Use it as an opportunity to grow and get better at your craft. Setting yourself learning goals and taking the extra time to develop new skills will also help you progress in your career.

Finally, remember that great work is often the result of collaboration. So, be sure to be a team player and build positive relationships with your colleagues. Working well with others is an important skill in any job, but it’s especially important in design where we often have to rely on others to bring our vision to life.



Being a good team player

No designer is an island, so it’s important to be a good team player. This means being able to work well with others, communicate effectively, and collaborate when needed. It can be easy to get wrapped up in your own work and forget about the rest of the team, but it’s important to remember that we’re all working towards the same goal.

Here are a few tips for being a good team player:

  1. Listen more than you talk
  2. Respect other people’s opinions
  3. Be open to feedback
  4. Don’t be a know-it-all
  5. Seek out opportunities to collaborate


Moving up the ranks

As a junior graphic designer, you likely have your sights set on a more senior position in the future. Int he design world, moving from a junior role to a senior one can happen quite rapidly if you’re willing to put in the extra effort and do great work.

One way to make the jump to a senior role is by continuing to develop your skills and becoming an expert in your field. Whether it’s keeping up with industry news, reading design books or taking courses, there are plenty of ways to stay ahead of the curve and improve your skills fast.

While there’s no one guaranteed path to success, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of being promoted.

The first step is to take on additional responsibilities and show that you’re capable of handling more than what’s expected of you. You can also try to solve problems and come up with new ideas that add value to the team. And finally, be sure to build positive relationships with your boss and colleagues. Creating a strong network of supporters can go a long way in helping you climb the ladder.

Of course, there is no rule saying you have to stay with the one employer to get promoted. You may find it worthwhile to switch jobs and take on a more senior role elsewhere. In the current landscape there is no shortage of jobs for talented designers. Just be sure to do your research and make sure the new job is a good fit before making the move. Moving for money or title alone is not advisable.



Getting your first job as a junior designer can be both exciting and daunting. But if you show up on time, dress the part, ask questions, offer to help, and go above and beyond, you’ll be sure to make a good impression and form the makings of a great design career